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APPLETON – Bergstrom Automotive raised more than $165,000 in September to help children who are battling critical illnesses.

The Bergstrom team collected $165,476 through its Drive for Dreams campaign, according to Make-A-Wish Wisconsin. The automotive dealer donated $5 for every oil change and $5 for each new social media follower it gained, along with other fundraising initiatives.

Bergstrom Automotive President Tim Bergstrom said in a statement the company wanted to do something big to help kids during a challenging year and thanked the community and company partners for supporting the campaign.

“We’re honored to work alongside and support the Make-A-Wish Wisconsin team each year as they help critically ill children and their families throughout the communities we serve,” he said.

Bergstrom Automotive also matched all donations up to $100,000. That brings its total contribution to more than $2.3 million over a 20-year period.

Northeast Wisconsin Make-A-Wish Director Kris Teofilo said in a statement the organization has more than 430 kids to support and thanked Bergstrom Automotive for its contribution. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought isolation and vulnerability to the kids and families the organization supports, Teofilo said.

“Dreaming about their greatest wish brings our kids feelings of hope and optimism, which replace fear and stress,” Teofilo said. “We could not do this important work without the incredible Bergstrom Automotive team and our generous communities.”

Make-A-Wish Wisconsin has supported more than 7,000 families since it was founded in 1984. Organization leaders say granting wishes for children with critical illnesses helps them feel stronger, more energetic and more willing to undergo difficult, but vital treatments.

Bergstrom Automotive, headquartered in Neenah, is one of the top 50 automotive retailers in the U.S. and is owned by John and Richard Bergstrom. The company employs over 1,600 people statewide.

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